Come with us on a reading journey
Interested in finding out where our book boxes have taken us on our reading journeys? Join us now in exploring places in the United Kingdom, easily arranged in alphabetical order.
The county of Berkshire lies west of London and it's full title is The Royal County of Berkshire and Windsor Castle, one of the royal homes, is situated within its bounds. The River Thames runs through the most scenic areas of the country, providing opportunities for both outstanding views and leisurely recreation.
The county of Buckinghamshire is a land-locked county bordered by London, Berkshire, Northamptonshire, Oxfordshire, Bedfordshire and Hertfordshire. Known as one of the 'Home Counties', much of Bucks is densely populated and part of the London commuter belt. As it contains the Chiltern Hills, an area of outstanding natural beauty, it is popular among walkers and sightseers.
Cambridgeshire is a county in the East of England. Much of the county is low-lying and agricultural. The fens cover 200 square miles of flat land containing abundant wildlife. Main towns and cities are Cambridge (university city), Peterborough, and Huntingdon. Visit Ely to see the magnificent cathedral.
Cheshire lies just above Wales in the North-West of England. Known for its rural villages and market towns, Cheshire is also home to many listed buildings, crumbly Cheshire cheese, Chester puddings and buns.
Visit the area for its stately homes and other visitor attractions.
The most south-western tip of the UK is the county of Cornwall, a peninsula with nearly 200 sandy beaches, granite cliffs, and picturesque seaside resorts. Which is why it is very popular as a tourist destination. Cornwall is famous for being a surfer's paradise, as well as its Cornish pasties and Cornish ice cream.
Bordering Scotland, Cumbria is in the north-west part of England and is the third largest county. There's something for everyone in Cumbria: coastland, mountains, rural villages, and towns. This is where you'll find the Lake District, England's largest national park with famous towns such as Keswick and Grasmere, and lakes and waters such as Windermere, Ullwater and Coniston.
Derbyshire is in the East Midlands, a central county of England and is surrounded by many other counties. The Peak District National Park, visited by many tourists each year, lies mostly in this county. For shopping, there's a great choice of market towns including Bakewell, Buxton, and Chesterfield.
With long sandy beaches on both the north and the south sides of the county, and pretty seaside towns, Devon is a popular holiday place for tourists. And featuring rolling countryside and moors within its boundaries, Devon has something for all. Don't forget your Devon Cream Tea and Scrumpy (Devonshire Cider) when you visit this spectacular county.
Dorset lies on the south west coast of England, with its many stunning beaches facing the English Channel. Even though the county is only 3 hours away from London, Dorset is mainly rural with some small towns, pretty villages and no cities within its bounds. With the coastline part of the Jurassic Coast Heritage site, Dorset is the perfect idyllic getaway.
Durham is a county definitely worth visiting. From the cobbled streets of Durham City with its towering cathedral and river, to its market towns and beaches, Durham should be a definite stop on your journey. Don't forget the Durham Dales and many other attractions such as the open air historical museum of Beamish.
East Sussex, England
If you want a mixture of scenery and towns, nightlife and history, East Sussex has everything. Visit the South Downs National Park or experience the breathtaking cliffs of Seven Sisters. Visit Brighton for shopping and clubs. Or Eastbourne or Hastings for seaside fun. Want castles or abbeys? East Sussex has lots of them. Enjoy the variety on offer in this lovely county.
With London directly to the south of the county, Essex is part of the commuter belt, but there are plenty of things for visitors to do from shopping, to visiting historical houses and gardens to taking a trip to the seaside. Find a great countryside walk or visit the many museums on offer.
Gloucestershire is a county in the south-west of England. Here you'll find glorious scenery such as the Cotswolds, Forest of Dean and Wye Valley (bordering Wales) to name just a few of the Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty. Visit Cheltenham for the steeplechase horse race or attend one of its many festivals: jazz, music, food and drink, literature (or course!) or science.
The south coast county of Hampshire is well known for its large ports, countryside, and literary heritage. Experience the maritime history of Portsmouth and Southampton, visit the South Downs and the New Forest, or top up your knowledge of the county's writers like Austen by visiting the Jane Austen House museum.
Nestled between Worcester and Wales, Herefordshire is predominantly a rural county with agriculture the primary trade. Its countryside includes the Malvern Hills and other Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty. Hereford is a cathedral city and there are museums and art galleries, too.
Isle of Wight, England
Lying in the English channel and separated by the Solent, the Isle of Wight is the largest island of England. Known as an area of outstanding natural beauty, the island has some beautiful bays sand and shingle beaches, and picturesque villages and towns. Don't forget the iconic Needles, a dramatic outcrop of three chalk stacks to the west of the island.
Known as The Garden of England, with its many picturesque villages and surroundings, the county of Kent is in the south east of England. Here you will find castles, cathedrals, countryside, coastlines, and cottages. Being the closest part of England to France and the rest of the continent, Kent has both transport and passenger ports, with Dover being the largest.
Lancashire, in the north west of England, is well known for its major part in the UK's industrial revolution with its mill towns and collieries. Explore this rich history by visiting the museums on offer or visit historical towns like Blackburn or Darwen. Or take a trip to the coast and experience the thrills of Blackpool and its view from the famous tower.
As well as woodlands and countryside, castles and canals, Leicestershire offers historical attractions such as the Battle of Bosworth Country Park, something for the science enthusiast with the National Space Centre, and fun for the family at Twinlakes Park. Grab a pork pie or some Red Leicester cheese to experience the food heritage, too.
With fens to the south east, marshes to the east, and seaside towns dotted along its coastline, Lincolnshire offers a slower-paced, calm and serene county. The county is predominantly agricultural, but the northern part of the Humber is more industrialized. But there's lots to see and do while you take a leisurely tour of the county.
We can say without hint of bias, that London, the capital city of England, is perhaps one of the most fascinating and adored cities in the world. With its far-reaching history, London provides iconic landmarks, culture, art, food, nightlife, and fun for all the family. Don't stay for a day, but rather a week or more and even then you'll never fit everything in!
Famed for its cotton industry, Manchester contains much industrial heritage. The county of Greater Manchester is greatly urbanised with a large population and built-up areas. This makes it a great place for enjoying historical attractions or for soaking up some culture in the numerous museums and galleries.
If you are interested in football, music, culture or history, Merseyside is a great place to visit. Merseyside's principal city, Liverpool, is famous for its musical history as well as its maritime heritage. But there's also zoos, wildlife parks, as well as green spaces and parks in the county. Don't forget to travel in a ferry across the Mersey River for a unique experience.
Norfolk, in the east of England, has an extensive coastline with 90 miles of sandy beaches, and traditional seaside towns. It also has a vast connection of lakes, rivers, and waterways called the Norfolk Broads. Elsewhere you'll find towns and villages as well as the city of Norwich with its cathedral and wide range of shopping facilities and cultural attractions.
Northamptonshire is in the middle of England, a landlocked county surrounded by eight others. Named the Rose of the Shires, Northamptonshire is an area of churches, cottages and market towns. And there's miles of walks and cycle paths as well as canals to keep you safe while you enjoy the countryside or visit one of the many country parks.
The most northern county within England is Northumberland, which lies in the east of the country and borders the North Sea. Known for its exceptional beaches, Northumberland also has the most castles in all of England, mostly scattered along the coastline. One of them can be found across the causeway on the Holy Island of Lindisfarne.
In the East Midlands, Nottinghamshire is a landlocked county. Famous for the legend of folk hero Robin Hood, it also has ties to the lace making and cycling industries. Visit Sherwood Forrest if you are interested in the myths and the history or Nottingham for shopping, culture and nightlife.
The city of Oxford is a main educational centre and a vibrant, tourist hotspot in the heart of England. The "city of dreaming spires" has lured many a traveller over the centuries. Combine this with the relaxing, rolling hills of the Cotswolds, quintessentially English villages, and market towns, and Oxfordshire is a great place to visit.
The smallest county in England, Rutland has only two towns: Oakham, famed for its castle, and Uppingham, known for upmarket shopping, galleries and antique shops. At the centre of the county is Rutland Water, a man-made reservoir and nature reserve. Despite being small, Rutland has the motto "much in little" and definitely provides lots to do, including family activities and outdoor pursuits.
Shropshire is a landlocked county that borders the country of Wales to the west. There are old town such as Shrewsbury and new towns like Telford, giving Shropshire a diverse feel. Running through the county is the longest river in England, the River Severn. The county also provides spectacular scenery in terms of hills, valleys, and woodlands. Having both English heritage sites and World Heritage sites, Shropshire provides plenty of interest to visitors.
In the south-west of England, Somerset is a mainly rural area with rollings hills alongside large flat wetland areas called the Somerset Levels and Moors. Somerset also has 40 miles on coastline to the north, splendid cities like Bath and Wells, natural wonders such as Cheddar Gorge and Wookey Hole as well as man-made historical sites such as Glastonbury Tor. Known for Cheddar cheese and cider as well as Glastonbury Festival, Somerset is a great place to visit.
Staffordshire is a county in the west midlands of England. The county has parts of the National Forest and the Peak District within its bounds plus moorlands, undulating hills, and pretty villages. Cannock Chase is an Area of Oustanding National Beauty, and the county has the highest village in England. There's a complex canal system, stately homes, fun parks, castles, and potteries to keep you busy.
With the North Sea lying to the east of the county, Suffolk has a coastline of 50 miles, and can be found in the East Anglian region of England. Much of the county is low-lying, with 60 nature reserves and two Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty. There are medieval towns, stately homes, castles, and Suffolk Wool towns as well as heritage centres. Visit Constable Country (John Constable 1776-1837) or take a relaxing walk along the stunning beaches.
One of the most densely populated county in England, with over 1 million residents, Surrey is also one of the most affluent. It is close to London but far enough to offer a more relaxed environ: there are plenty of green open spaces and it has the most woodland in England. There's palaces, castles, stately homes, market towns, and four racecourses. Visitors can relax, shop, or plan family excursions with ease.
Tyne and Wear, England
The county owes its name to the River Tyne and the River Wear which flow through the region. Situated in the North East of England, this county has the urbanised cities of Newcastle and Gateshead (with the accompanying historical museums, state-of-the-art galleries, restaurants and shopping facilities) and the peaceful tranquility of the sandy beaches like Tynemouth.
Warwickshire is known as the birthplace of one of the most revered playwrights of England, William Shakespeare (Oxfordians notwithstanding), and certainly provides a historical feast of activities. Take a trip in a boat along the River Avon, see a live Shakespeare play in Stratford-upon-Avon, travel back to Elizabethan England at Kenilworth Castle or visit the beautiful market towns with their timber-framed houses. There are no cities in Warwickshire, but plenty of things to do.
West Midlands region, England
The West Midlands is a heavily populated region, with over 2 million residents, with Birmingham being a major city. Known as 'The Black Country' the West Midlands is known for its history within the mining, wool and metal industries and this is reflected in the many museums and attractions. But alongside that, Birmingham provides trendy shopping, restaurants, and galleries.
West Sussex, England
West Sussex in in southern England. Here you can enjoy sunny summer days at the seaside with its piers and beaches and family activities and watersports. Or else, visit the countryside of the Sussex Weald or the South Downs. Use the network of cycling or walking paths or take a relaxing drive to explore the villages, forests, windmills, and stately homes and castles.
In the south west of England, Wiltshire is an land of wide valleys and rolling countryside. Half of the area is designated an Area of Outstanding National Beauty. With ancient historical landmarks like Stonehenge, Avebury Stone Circles, and white horse carving on the hillsides, Wiltshire is a popular attraction for visitors.
A county in the west midlands, Worcestershire has the benefit of both rural areas and townships. The great outdoors provides walking, cycling, and fishing opportunities, or visitors can explore the many historic houses, churches, parks and gardens. There's also the chance to travel on the Severn Valley Railway or go to one of the many county shows. Visiting the towns means you can experience theatres, galleries, museums and also do some shopping.
This fabulous country is situated in the top third of the UK, north of England and is famous for, among other things, Gaelic, Scotch whisky, tartan and kilts, magnificent castles, enchanting lochs, the Highlands, golf at St Andrews, mountains, bagpipes, Haggis...the list goes on. This is a beautiful country with a variety of scenic views and things to do.
Northern Ireland was created in May 1921. It is home to scenic rural countryside, rugged coastlines, bustling cities, and memorable attractions. Places to visit include the Giant's Causeway and Carrickfergus Castle as well as beautiful beaches and mountains. It was the birthplace of Sir Kenneth Branagh, Van Morrison, George Best, and C. S. Lewis (who was inspired by the Mourne Mountains).
Wales, a country situated in the west of Britain, is well-known for its language, tradition, culture, coastline, and valleys.
Traditional symbols are the red dragon, beautiful yellow daffodils, and the root vegetable leek, as well as the romance of love spoons and Welsh harps. Wales is associated with rugby, enchanting scenery, Snowdon which is the highest mountain in the country, and Male Voice Choirs. Famous people include Dylan Thomas, Sir Anthony Hopkins, Duffy, Sir Tom Jones, and Richard Burton.